Browning 22 Semi-Auto rifle

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Semi-auto .22
Browning .22.jpg
Type Sporting rifle
Place of origin  Belgium
Production history
Designer John Browning
Manufacturer FN Herstal
Produced 1914-present
Weight 5.2 pounds (2.4 kg)
Length 37 inches (94 cm)
Barrel length 19.25 inches (489 mm)

Cartridge .22 Long Rifle, .22 Short
Action Semiautomatic
Feed system Integral tube magazine (11x.22 LR; 16x.22 Short)
FN Browning .22 disassembled
FN Browning .22 receiver
FN Browning .22, barrel dismounted

The Browning 22 Semi-Auto rifle, also known as the Semi Automatic 22 or SA-22, is a takedown rifle produced by FN Herstal based on a John Browning patent. The rifle is currently produced by Browning as the Semi-Auto 22. Production began in 1914 and continued through 1974 in Belgium and production continued in 1976 in Japan by Miroku.[1] It was first exported by FN for the American market in 1956. A close copy made by the Chinese company Norinco was formerly imported into the US by Interarms as the Model ATD. Remington manufactured a lighter weight version under license from 1919-1935 as the Remington Model 24 and then replaced it with the Remington Model 241 in 1935. Except for the barrel locking mechanism the Remington Model 241 is very similar to the Browning SA-22.

The SA-22 was the first production semiautomatic rifle chambered in .22 LR caliber,[2] and is regarded as a classic firearm.[2][3] It has been offered in several "grades" of engraving and gold inlay, and is a widely collected gun, especially those manufactured in Belgium.[4]

The Semi-auto .22 is a made from blued steel and walnut, and ejects spent cases downward. This feature was intended by the designer to keep the user's face "protected from gasses and flying particles while firing", at which it succeeds especially for smaller people; after all, this rifle was primarily intended as an entry gun for children. However, some adults may not care for the sizzling hot empty case to eject down one's forward-arm shirt sleeve. The lack of a side-mounted ejection port also leaves a large "canvas" for engraving.[2] Factory engraving was done by hand at FN Herstal, and is done by laser engraving with hand finishing at Miroku. It has occasionally been sold with a factory fitted hard case, or with scope mounting grooves on the receiver.

Initial production models had a small loading port located on the top of the stock in contrast to later models which had the loading port located on the right side of the buttstock.

Over half a million SA-22 rifles have been sold since 1914.[2]


  1. ^ Browning Serial Numbers Archived June 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d Shideler, Dan. Gun Digest 64. Krause Publications, 2010.
  3. ^ House, James E. The Gun Digest Book of .22 Rimfire. Gun Digest Books, 2005.
  4. ^ Cornell, Joseph Madden. Standard Catalog of Browning Firearms. Krause Publications, 2009.